When your foreign-born fiancé(e) receives their K1 visa, the next step is getting married and applying for a green card so that you can build your lives together in the United States. Since the K1 is a nonimmigrant visa, you and your new spouse will have to apply to change their immigration status to lawful conditional permanent resident. In this blog, the team at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, PC explains what you can expect when seeking an adjustment of status for a K1 visa and how a K1 visa attorney can help.
Application for Adjustment of Status for K1 Visa After Marriage
After the marriage, you and your spouse must complete several forms and file them with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Some are mandatory while others are supplemental and situation-specific. They are as follows:
- Form I-485- Adjustment of Status Application: Your spouse must file Form I-485 after the marriage has taken place. The marriage must occur before the 90-day period covered by the K-1 visa expires.
- Form I-864 Affidavit of Support: You must complete and submit this form to confirm that your spouse will not become a public charge. You must show that you have enough income and/or assets to financially support them at 125% above the poverty guideline rate. If you don’t make enough, a co-sponsor will be required.
- Form I-693- Report of Medical Examination And Vaccination Record: A civil surgeon must complete this form verifying the results of your spouse’s medical examination and confirming that all necessary vaccinations have been submitted.
- Form I-765- Application For Employment Authorization Card: This supplemental form is an application for an EAD card so that your spouse can work in the United States. They may not work until the card is issued or they obtain legal permanent residence, whichever happens first.
- Form I-131- Application For Travel Document: Another supplemental form, this one is for a travel permit, and your spouse should not leave the U.S. until it is issued. Leaving the country prior to the approval of the I-131 will be considered abandonment of the entire adjustment of status application.
In addition to these forms, you should submit copies of the following documents, along with two passport-sized photos of your spouse, to ensure a more efficient processing of your case.
- The I-129F Approval Notice
- Your spouse’s biographic page in their passport
- Their K1 visa and I-94 arrival and departure record
- Their birth certificate
- Your marriage certificate
- Any EAD cards issued to your spouse
What Happens After the Application for Adjustment of Status is Filed?
An I-797 Notice of Action should be sent to your spouse once the application has been submitted and fees have been received. They will also receive an appointment notice from the Application Support Center requesting them to appear for biometrics, which involves taking fingerprints and digital photos. Once this is done, the next (and usually final) step is an interview at a USCIS field office.
Your spouse will receive a notification to appear for the interview, which you must also attend. You’ll want to ensure that you bring the following:
- The interview notice
- Your spouse’s passport
- Their I-94 arrival and departure record
- The I-129F Approval Notice
- Your spouse’s EAD card and travel permit
- The marriage certificate
- Your respective birth certificates and state-issued ID or driver’s licenses (if you’ve had children, bring their birth certificates too)
- Your passport or naturalization certificate
- Annulment, divorce, or death certificates if either of you has been married before
- Financial documents such as pay stubs, Form W-2, or your most recent tax return
You must also bring documents demonstrating that your marriage is bona fide. This may include wedding and honeymoon photos, joint bank accounts and credit cards, joint mortgage documents or leases, and utility bills.
Adjustment of status interview questions are typically similar to those asked by the consular officer during the K1 visa interview, although they will also question you both about your relationship. If all goes well and the application is approved, your spouse will receive a green card, but it may be conditional depending on how long you’ve been married.
- If you’ve been married for less than two years, your spouse will be granted a conditional two-year green card. Ninety days before their conditional status expires, you must both sign and file Form I-751- Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence.
- Your spouse will be granted legal permanent residency without conditions if the marriage was at least two years old when the application was approved. Their green card will be valid for 10 years.
If all other eligibility criteria are met, they will be able to apply for naturalization after two years and 9 months instead of five years.
How Can a K1 Visa Attorney Help?
Immigration law often changes and can be difficult to navigate without a legal background. A K1 visa lawyer in Los Angeles can not only help your future spouse apply for the K1 visa they need to join you in the United States, but they can also represent and guide you during the adjustment of status process.
While some cases are fairly straightforward, others can be more challenging, especially. An experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer can help you address these difficulties with the goal of getting the best result for your future.
Questions About Adjustment of Status for a K1 Visa?
At the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, PC, we know how important it is to get a green card for the person you love. That’s why we work so hard to make it happen. We are a top-rated immigration law firm that provides an exceptional level of personal as well as professional service. We have successfully handled many K1 visa and adjustment of status applications for clients and earned recognition for handling extremely complex immigration cases. To schedule a consultation with one of our talented attorneys, call(213) 375-4084 or contact us online.